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From: Alex David Groce <Alex_Groce@gs246.sp.cs.cmu.edu>
Subject: Re: (urth) Re: Severian as Marcus Aurelius
Date: Wed, 03 Nov 1999 15:08:36 

>Both Claudius and Severian backed into the throne, and both are lame. But I
>think Claudius is presented as something of a bumbling fool (though of
>course he often plays the fool as well), and this is hard to say of
>Severian. And Sev and Marcus Aurelius both lead armies into battle,
>something Claudius could never do.

Actually, in CLAUDIUS THE GOD, he does just that--using (IIRC, it's been
a good while since I read it) elephants in the battle to frighten the British.
Claudius is actually (in Graves' version) a decent military planner, and the
battle description and especially the elephants are (I think) a clear influence
on the "look and feel" of the battles in CITADEL.  In general, from the 
prophecy of the Sybil at Cumae, etc., Severian is quite explicitly patterned
on Claudius.  In fact the quickest way to sum up what happens to Severian is:
take the events that happen to Caludius, mix in the Gospel narratives, and
then embed it all in a sword-and-sorcery journey tale.

>Disclaimer: I am mainly familiar with _I, Claudius_ through television, not
>the book.

The books are quite entertaining, and Claudius is much less of a fool than in
the television series (or, quite probably, history).  And they are definitely
a big influence on NEW SUN--for example, I think Valeria's name is Valeria 
because Claudius' wife was Valeria Messalina.

"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:32
Alex David Groce (agroce+@cs.cmu.edu)
Ph.D. Student, Carnegie Mellon University - Computer Science Department
8112 Wean Hall (412)-268-3066

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